Westmoreland Glass Factory

Westmoreland Glass Company

by Paul Thurston


The fore-running company of Westmoreland was named Specialty Glass. It was incorporated in the year of 1888. Specialty Glass started erecting buildings in July 1889, but ran out of funds in October of 1889.

At this point, Charles H and George R. West invested $40,000 to finance the operation of Specialty Glass. The West brothers were formally dry goods merchants in East Liberty, PA..

After the West purchase in 1889 the name of the company was changed to Westmoreland Specialty Company. This plant was located in a small town named Grapeville near Jeannette, PA. In the beginning Westmoreland Specialty manufactured containers for candy and mustard.

On March 14th, 1924, the board of directors of Westmoreland Specialty applied to change it's name to Westmoreland Glass Company. The application was approved on February 10th, 1925.

Westmoreland Glass Company was very famous for their White Milk Glass. In the 1950's Milk Glass was very popular. It was only until the 1960's that brought the introduction to colored glass.

The L.G. Wright Company a distributor of glass products purchased much glass from Westmoreland, but the glass that was manufactured was done with Wright's molds and formulas. This in turn made this glass very sought after by collectors that collected Westmoreland Glass, especially the carnival glass. Most of this was made on a very limited production run.

Levay another distributor of glass, commissioned Westmoreland Glass Company to manufacture glass in their existing molds but to special colors that were limited to Leavy only. Most of this glass was also in very limited editions, there were at times less than 10 pieces made on a special run of glass. During this time Leavy had Westmoreland produce a large number of different pieces in carnival glass, this was the only time in Westmoreland's history to turn out this many pieces in limited editions in carnival. One of the most sought after pieces of Westmoreland Glass is the Buzz Star Punch set, this set was made in their Black Carnival, a very rare color, and there were only 31 sets made.

The Black Carnival was an experimental color that was made by Westmoreland. There were water sets made covered dishes and many other items, but all were limited and very good sellers for the company.

In 1980, J. H. Brainard started searching for a buyer for Westmoreland. David Grossman a St. Louis, Mo. based distributor purchased Westmoreland in March 1981. Even though Gross man tried new lines and colors, the end came early in 1984.

Production ceased after the close of business on January 8th, 1984, and only the items in stock were sold. Auctions soon started to sell the glass and equipment.

In January of 1996 there was a fire and part of the Factory was damaged. There was another fire later in 1998 that started in the main building and spread to the remaining portion of the factory that was not damaged during the first fire in 1976. It took the local fire company two hours to bring the blaze under control. The fire Marshall had determined the cause of the fire was arson. This had brought an end to the Westmoreland Glass Factory forever.


TRADE MARKINGS ON WESTMORELAND GLASS

This was the original trade mark used by Westmoreland back in the early 1900 hundreds. Not all pieces were trade marked.
This trade mark was used later in the late 1940s. You will find a lot of pieces have this trade mark, but some were not.
The circular Westmoreland trde mark was used between the years of 1983 and 1984 when David Grossman had taken control of the Westmoreland company. You need to know your colors because there are a lot of reproductions that continue to use this trade mark.
This trade mark using the Keystone symbol, is used by Rosso Wholesale Glass Dealers on reproductions of Westmoreland Glass. You will find a capital "R" in the center. You may also find other Westmoreland trade marks present.
Another example of the Keystone symbol, this one is used by Plum Glass on reproductions. With a capital "PG" in the center. You may also find other Westmoreland trade marks present.

Check out the Making of Milk Glass. This page shows the process of how Westmoreland made their Milk Glass from the mold to the final inspection.

The Making of Milk Glass


A Color & Value Guide To The Limited Edition Glass Made For
Levay Glass by Westmoreland Glass

COLOR & VALUE GUIDE


Do not for get to check out the articles on rarities in Westmoreland Glass.

Articles on Westmoreland Glass


Table of Contents